Harrison Lake Trail

MODERATE 86 reviews
#1 of 23 trails in

Harrison Lake Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sandpoint, Idaho that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,430 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

3 days ago

Hiked it in June 26, 2018. Still some snow in the trail, but the views were spectacular! This will be a once a year hike for us.

hiking
15 days ago

I've been wanting to hike this a while and it did not disappoint. Moderate or Difficult is a relative thing. It was my first hike in a while and that last mile up was not easy for me. However, my wife and son breezed right up. Good wake up call to get my endurance back and start running again. Anyway, it's a very nice hike with great views of Chimney Rock and then Harrison Lake at the top. You'll scale some flat rock face so I'd highly recommend good "grippy" trail shoes. No tennis shoes or open toed hikers.

backpacking
21 days ago

If youre looking for a nice day hike this is definitely one to consider. There was a lot of people there and the t rails lead through everyone's campsites so expect people to walk by you if you're camping. The trail, as mentioned before, has a lot of loose rock. Just pay attention on the way back down. The hike was easy up, nothing too crazy.

26 days ago

Definitely not a hike for beginners, and I wouldn’t bring kids either. Gorgeous views all the way up. There’s loose boulders almost the entire way- I’m thankful I decided not to wear tennis shoes. Some boots with nice traction saved me from a couple ankle twists. About the last mile or so has a steep incline and isn’t marked well but the app was helpful and accurate for us. The lake and views are gorgeous at the end.

hiking
28 days ago

Looking for an adventure? Look no farther than Harrison Lake in North Idaho. This trail is perfect for all levels of hiker, as well as dogs and kiddos. Ranked as moderate, I found the trail pretty easy aside from the final mile right before reaching the lake. With a good pair of (waterproof) hiking boots and perhaps a good set of trekking poles, the majority of the trail was very manageable. The only problem I encountered was my own...I tend to struggle with dragging my feet which was somewhat of a burden on this trail due to loose boulders and rocks just waiting for you to stub your toes on.

But in all honesty, the Harrison Lake Trail No 217 has a bit of everything. Views of the Beehive Dome, Bottleneck Peak and Roman Nose accompany you on the slight grade uphill through the subalpine fir and spruce trees to the alpine lake a little under two and a half miles ahead. The last mile is a slight scramble up a granite face which could result in confusion with following the trail. Just look for the perfectly placed rock cairns along the way and you can't go wrong.

You'll know you've reached the lake once you start seeing the tents scattered along the trailside. Even in the snow, we saw at least half a dozen campers setting up their sites for the weekend. Wind your way through the random boulders to the water and be sure to take pause to see the clarity of the frigid lake...something I'm sure my pup and I would have been tempted to jump into had it been later in the summer.

hiking
29 days ago

Not easy for kids. The trail itself towards the top became difficult as we had to walk on rock face. Some parts were large loose rock as well. This would be a nice hike without kids but definitely not for beginners. Would also be awesome for camping and fishing. Very beautiful once you make it to the top. Took my husband, 2 year old, 11 month old (carried most of the way), and myself 2 hours to get to the top and about an hour and half to get down.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this mid summer 2 years ago...Great little hike- not challenging at all but you still get nice views and a lovely alpine lake at the top as well as small camping area. One of the more trafficked trails I’ve been on... saw small children with grandparents- would go back to camp overnight and fish. I gave it a 4 because the road to get to the trail was pretty rough!

hiking
1 month ago

Went to hike the trail on June 17th but there was a foot of snow on the road a half a mile from the trailhead. I hiked the trail a year ago, and it was wonderful.

backpacking
1 month ago

Avalanche area cleared enough to park at trail head. Quite a bit of snow on trail as you get about half way. 3 foot high in areas. But easily passable. Our 5 year old needed a lot of help but easy for adult. A lot of snow when you get to the lake but hard packed. The first campsite you come to with the big rock you could get a few small tents in. There are a couple other spot you could squeeze one into. We were able to set up our bigger tent right on the other side of the outlet where there is a lot less snow on that side of the lake but not too many campsites. Lots of fish surfacing. Bring your pole.

nature trips
1 month ago

Beautiful!!

2 months ago

The road up is blocked by massive avalanche damage about a half mile from the trail head. Just park and walk up. There are still drifts of snow on parts of the trail. It was packed enough for easy hiking on top of it when we were there.

hiking
2 months ago

Always a great hike spring or late fall in the snow. Trail gets a little lost in the rock towards the top, keep your eyes out for pathway.

hiking
10 months ago

Lots of snow, come prepared! Beautiful hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike!!!

hiking
10 months ago

Gorgeous backcountry lake. It is a fairly easy trail with a nice payoff.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful hike, lots of Little Rock's at beginning of trail watch footing.

hiking
10 months ago

First hike ever for my husband & I. Will definitely go back!

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail!

hiking
11 months ago

All of it was beautiful!

11 months ago

pretty easy nice track with lots of beautiful plants on the way, gets hot on the way up with little shade in the midday sun

hiking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Some of the best views I've seen at the top. Well worth the journey!

hiking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

We added on to this nice lake hike and trekked up to Harrison Peak thats way I give it a five the view down to the lake was awesome but not for the beginner or one that does not like heights :)

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

7/26/17-This was a fantastic hike. Took us a bit to get up, only because we had our young daughter with us. She wasn't used to this kind of hike (she's 14). She was amazing though and hiked the whole way up and down! We were amazed at how gorgeous the lake is! Wow! So worth the hike. We had our lunch up there on a rock and enjoyed every moment. We went at 10:45 and reached the top at around 1:40. Remember though we had to make quite a few stops ;). Lots of cool big boulders to climb on. Would like to camp up there sometime. It was a warm day, but not overwhelmingly hot. At the lake, it was cool and the wind cooled us down. Bugs weren't too bad. Some flies trying to bother us during the hike, but not horrible. I think this is a popular hike and so not sure how many people camp up there. Seems like a lot of people like this trail. Can't wait to do this again!

hiking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Moderate hike with great views of the upper alpine. Trail is good , watch for loose rocks on trail. No bears sighted. Bells and spray recommended.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Amazing hike with spectacular views! Lots of steep incline that is not good for beginners. The lake is beautiful and well worth every mile. Did not come in contact with bears but better safe then sorry!

hiking
Monday, July 24, 2017

This is a fantastic hike, with views from beginning to end. The cooler temperature up high was a pleasant break from the scorching temperatures in the valleys of North Idaho. The views of the lake and the mountain peaks above, are well worth the trip to this wonderful trail.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Just did this today. Great trail to the lake. Great scenery. Scrambled around the south side of the lake and went up to the ridge overlooking the basin which feels Little Harrison lake. Met some guys who said they knew a way from Little Harrison back to the car, it was bushwacking hell. The only reasonable way out of Little Harrison is..,,,, there isn't one. It's a pretty lake but so what. Skip it. I'll try to post a picture here for your enjoyment. If you're nuts enough to go there, exit over the high ridge leading to Beehive lake then from the lake take the trail out. Have fun

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

This is a great hike. A lot of people camp here. The mountain lake is spectacular! It's a bit of a drive up a 9 mile long dirt road but worth the trip! The hike is only 3 miles each way, you get over 1,500 ft of elevation so it's a decent trade off. Be careful of a few things, rain, snow and hail, bears at the lake, and oh did I mention be prepared for any kind of weather! People even fish the lake and pull Rainbow Trout out! I also caution you first time hikers, this route is a bit confusing near the lake as you wind up through the granite boulders and granite field, use the markers and use the All Trails Pro downloaded map! It may be worth the $2.50 a month to not get lost! Enjoy the hike, backpack trip, camping and fishing adventures! :-P

hiking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pretty steady incline the whole way up but the views and wildflowers are breathtaking and worth it. The lake is a great place to sit and eat lunch. Getting down is almost as tough as getting up because of all the loose rocks. I highly suggest a good pair of hiking boots that are light with incredible traction. Mine saved me from a few falls. I just kept saying to myself how thankful I was I didn't wear my trail runners. Also suggest boots with good ankle support. This was an amazing experience!

Friday, July 07, 2017

This hike is full of breathtaking views. Harrison lake is absolute stunning and worth the drive and hike. All of the snow has melted off of the trail. The trial is easy to follow until you get closer to the top. There are a bunch of big rocks you have to walk up and you lose the trail for a little, but keep going up and you will find the trail again. We did not see any bears. However, it is bear country out there so I would recommend carrying a side arm or at least some bear spray. I would also recommend shoes with good traction and ankle support. We did it in nikes and made it but I wouldn't recommend wearing tennis shoes. Parts of the trail are rocky and there are little streams you have to walk through as well. This is my new favorite hike!

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